Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(94 ratings)

Takes 45-55 minutes


Makes 1 loaf
Get the taste of Ireland with this fresh, no-fuss soda bread

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal296
  • fat5g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein11g
  • salt1.21g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, cut in pieces



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 500ml buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.

  2. Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.

  3. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool. To serve, break into quarters, then break or cut each quarter in half to make 8 wedges or slices – or simply slice across. Eat very fresh.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (148)

Voodelers's picture

Best Soda Bead recipe yet and I've tried a few!! !...Didn't use Oats though used 50g of Wheat germ and 50G of Bran instead turned out perfect love that it keeps for a few days too

bikerbell's picture

I have made this 3 times now, so quick and easy.
My mix seemed quite dry, maybe because I used oat bran instead of porridge oats. The next time I'll add more liquid. Found that the loaf kept well for a few days when wrapped in cling film.

arnie_pipe's picture

This worked perfectly and was really simple. I just had to add a splash of water to bring it together. I wasn't sure what it was meant to be like, but my Irish friend was a big fan and complimented the crusty exterior and soft inside. I would definitely make again :-)

sarahleetes's picture

Made this last night to go with homemade tomato soup and it was very yummy! Excellent bread without using yeast or getting my breadmaker out! I used almond milk mixed with 100g soya yoghurt and it turned out great! If you don't have buttermilk just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk!

tractorgal's picture

If you can't get buttermilk try fat free natural vogurt and milk

Sally35's picture

Great bread - all the taste, without yeast or having to prove the loaf! I added cracked black peppercorns in time adding chopped walnuts and feta cheese. Love the crust on this bread too. Ideal to go with a bowl of soup, just made celery and potato - so good.

vixvix's picture

Very tasty and nice texture. Goes well with soup. Very easy to make.

aboyd's picture

In Northern Ireland we call this Wheaten Bread.
Eventually found this recipe but maybe you should put "(Wheaten Bread)" beside the title to allow more people to find it :)

Going to try out this recipe next!

Jordannak's picture

I and my family found this bread much too salty with the 1 tsp of salt. The bread itself was quick and easy to make, had a nice moist texture and went well with stew. It was a little bland so I would try adding herbs if I make it again.

sarahleetes's picture

I only used Half teaspoon of salt after your comment and it was fine!

superlambanana's picture

Made this following the recipe exactly. Very good and delicious. Looks like on picture. Baked it for 40 minutes on a pizza stone on 180 (I have an oven thermometer), the last five minutes bottom up.

breadmakernew's picture

First time making this bread it was easy to make, it tasted great and lasted a week without drying out or going stale. I was able to get buttermilk from Tesco's and Asda, in asda look under the polish food section, i found it there or ask in store for buttermilk. I am unable to eat bread because of acid re-flux, but I was o.k with this bread I will be making this bread from now on to eat.

breadmakernew's picture

n well with soup

breadmakernew's picture

I made this bread the other day, it was easy to make and I was able to get all the ingredients. The bread lasted for a whole week without drying out or going stale. There are a lot of breads I cannot eat, owing to having stomach problems, acid re-flux I was able to eat this bread and I was o.k.

Mexiflor's picture

Second attempt better at first, probably not the recipe but my inexperience and having to substitute ingredients. I can't get buttermilk here (Mexican Caribbean) so I use natural yoghurt mixed with some milk, to combine all the floor I add a little more than 500 ml. I would like to try with soured milk, so I'm guessing lime juice would work as well as lemons, as I've never seen a lemon here in five years! Also I have no scales, just a measuring jug, so use cups and a guesstimate technique. But I do find I need to bake for about 40 mins. Lovely warm out of the oven with butter and a bowl of homemade soup!

fuegoynieve's picture


I too lived in several places in Mexico. Never could find buttermilk. But using regular milk with 1 Tblsp vinegar - let it stand for about 15 min - should help you out.
If you live near Cancun you should be able to get there a scale at one of the larger supermarkets or costco or sam´s club. It works much better than cups for measurement.

Would love to be on the beach - though it is probably very hot right now.

sarahkdouglas's picture

This is a really good recipe and so easy - I never imagined you could create a loaf of bread in, literally, minutes. After making it a few times I prefer it without the oats - I just substitute them with the same weight of flour. It's also really nice with some chopped walnuts thrown in. I'm going to try it with other additions soon - I'm thinking pine nuts and olives, and maybe some feta or other cheese. A sweet version with dried fruit and spices might be nice too... Oh, it also freezes really well. Really useful recipe!

Keith Towers's picture

I have made several loaves of soda bread now, using different recipes. I make my own yeast activated bread and that took a while to sort out a recipe and flour brand that works well for me. I have not tried this particular soda bread recipe, but I have just tried one from River Cottage website which I made with just 500g of white bread flour, 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 400ml of soured milk by adding 2 1/2 tbs of pure lemon juice to 400 mil of milk, whisking in and standing for 20 min. The dough was very sloppy with this recipe but cooked very nicely and I and my wife will be trying it tonight for tea. Although soda bread is as simple as throwing the ingredients together in a bowl, understanding the method of cooking and handling the dough is paramount for success. Enjoy!

Snoweider's picture

Made this for the first time yesterday, used milk soured with a bit of lemon juice and was absolutely delicious. Its a lot sloppier than the dough for my old recipe, but comes out much nicer. Will definitely be making again.

pollynotsosharpe's picture

this is wheaten bread not soda


Questions (2)

annewhitcombe's picture

This sounds delicious. Can't get buttermilk here so will try with yoghurt. Should I use sane quantity (500 ml) or a bit less for yoghurt? Thanks for any help.

Larsie's picture

Please convert to American ounces, love your recipes.

Lars in Florida

Tips (0)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Follow us

Join the BBC Good Food community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus.